21 September 2011

September 21st

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006) directed by Scott Glosserman
Part mockumentary, part real slasher flick.  Not unlike Scream, it's a winking love letter to slasher fans.  In this film, a documentary crew follows a slasher killer as he meticulously plans his killing spree.  Rather than relying on supernatural powers, slashers are really just good planners in excellent physical condition.  It's an amusing and strangely satisfying way of explaining the more unbelievable aspects of slasher films.  How do they survive being shot?  Bulletproof vests.  How do they make sure the victims flee where they want them to flee?  Months and months of planning.  How do they keep up with the fleeing victims?  Lots of cardio.  Why is there always a final girl left surviving?  The slasher really just wants to make her a better, stronger person.

It's a little bit jarring, and maybe a little disappointing, when the film switches from mockumentary to straight slasher film.  Partially, this means Leslie Vernon transforms from an engaging psychopath into a silent killer.  Nathan Baesel does such a great job with the role, it's sad to see him don the mask and stop talking to the documentary crew.  However, it's a necessary part of the movie.  We need to see everything Leslie's been explaining put into action to make sense of it all.  We also need to see that even if you already know what his plan is, changing it in the confusion of the night might not be so easy.  Now I kind of feel bad for all of the times I've yelled at the screen because the victims in a slasher film were making poor choices.

I'm not sure why it took me five years to get around to seeing this, but a nice treat for day two of Halloween.  (8/10)

Tales from the Darkside: "Mookie and Pookie" (1984) directed by Timna Ranon
There's an entire subgenre of movies and TV episodes on this subject: you're loved one isn't really dead... he's in the computer now!  It's a ridiculous idea now and it's even worse in a 27-year-old show featuring what looks like a 286.  Now, if Mookie had transferred himself into his computer and met Tron in there, maybe I'd like the episode a bit more.  As it is, it's a pointless bit of fluff that's more of a rejected Twilight Zone script that anything with a "darkside" to it.

Tales from the Darkside: "Slippage" (1984) directed by Michael Gornick
The always entertaining David Patrick Kelly plays a man who is so unimportant, the universe decides to slowly erase him from existence one day.  Or, maybe, he realizes his existence impedes the happiness of those around him and subconsciously decides to do a George Bailey (It's a Wonderful Life being directly mentioned in the show).  I don't know.  There's not much to this episode; it's more like the third act of a bigger story.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, "Behind the Mask" is great. A real favorite of mine the year it came out. I haven't seen it since then. Really need to revisit this one.